Informatics Basics

Over the past several decades, healthcare and information technology have undergone a period of dramatic change caused by a multitude of pressures and opportunities, many of which continue to persist and evolve today. In the Journal of American Health Information Management Association, Paul Wing and Edward Salsberg (2002), describe several significant factors that have and will continue to dramatically influence healthcare systems and the discipline of health informatics. These trends and factors include:
Growing Use of Data Systems to Monitor Programs and Services – Continued concerns about the quality and outcomes of care will drive the introduction of bigger and faster computers and more sophisticated software to track patients and the care they receive. This is likely to have major impacts on HIM workers in a variety of settings.
Increasingly Complex Treatments and Technologies – There is no end in sight to efforts to improve treatment protocols for all kinds of illnesses and impairments. Clinical researchers are working hard to develop new tools and processes. All of these will bring new classifications, codes, and procedures for monitoring costs, outcomes, and effectiveness.

More Data on Patients and Treatments – As patient record systems become more comprehensive and reliable, the volume of data collected will continue to grow. This will create a host of privacy and confidentiality concerns. It will also create opportunities for a wide range of data analysis and applied research.
Evidence supporting these trends also appears in literature, which reveals various effects on healthcare organizations and how the industry is responding. To illustrate, the following article describes several electronic medical records (EMR) initiatives undertaken at Kaiser-Colorado, Carilion Health System, Stanford University Medical Center in response to the trend toward paperless records as outlined above. Moving Gradually Toward a Paperless World
Research the online library, Internet and other resources for articles to identify at least one healthcare related organization that has implemented initiatives to address one or more of the trends identified by Wing and Salsberg (2002) above.
Based on your findings, write a scholarly essay that clearly addresses the following:

Identify and describe Scott and White including an overview of their structure and the services they provide.
Identify and describe which trends from above that you believe the organization has addressed.
What were the historical factors that precipitated a need for change?
What changes were made and what departments/staff did they affect?
Describe the advantages and/or disadvantages recognized from the changes.

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